Justice for Women NOW -Call for a citizen’s march to India Gate on 27 December


JUSTICE FOR WOMEN NOW!

Call for a citizen’s march to India Gate on 27 December. Assemble at the Gol Gumbaz Nizamuddin at 2 p.m.

We demand

  1. Sack the Delhi Police Commissioner.
  2. Fast-track 1 lakh pending rape cases across the country within 100 days. Ensure swift and certain punishment in all cases of crimes against women.
  3. Register FIRs on all complaints of rape, sexual harassment and crimes against women. Announce and publicise gender-just protocols for FIRs and police investigation of crimes against women. Punish police who violate the protocols and display gender bias or victim blaming. Implement police reforms and judicial recommendations. There should be no immunity for offenders, whatever their status.
  4. Announce a process of consultation with women’s organisations and students for a Special Session of Parliament in order to review and enact robust, democratic, gender-sensitive laws on crimes against women, including ‘honour’ crimes. We demand that the Bills on sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace must not be passed in their present form. We hope that the judicial commission will take on board the experience and representations of women’s group known for their work on sexual assault and harassment.
  5. Ensure massive expansion of safe public transport for women.

The young student who was brutally gang-raped in Delhi on 16th December is still battling for her life. We wish her a speedy recovery and convey all our support to her family and friends. We demand speedy trial and punishment for all the perpetrators of this heinous crime.We believe that the death penalty will not help lead to more convictions or end rape and will not bring about gender-just laws.

Ours is a peaceful protest. We condemn the highhandedness with which the police have cracked down on peaceful protestors since 16 December. We demand the immediate withdrawal of Section 144 and the closure of metro stations, and assert our right to assemble and peacefully protest at India Gate. At the same time, we also condemn the actions of a handful of anti-social elements who have tried to provoke violence. Women demand equality and freedom from violence in their homes as well as in the public sphere. We condole the death of the police constable after the violence on 23 December.

Despite massive protests across Delhi and India, the government’s assurances have been hollow and smack of tokenism. Until we are given firm assurances on our demands, we will continue our struggle. We call for strong resistance to any attempts to make women responsible for their own safety and to indulge in victim-blaming in cases of sexual violence. We demand that people in public positions who indulge in victim-blaming should quit.

It is now up to the government —

COMMIT OR QUIT!

We appeal to all concerned citizens to join a March from Nizamuddin (Gol Gumbaz) to India Gate on 27 December at 2 pm.

No organization banners, flags or slogans are allowed.

No form of violence or provocation will be tolerated.

Ex-judges not in favour of #deathpenalty to rapists #Justice #Vaw


By , TNN | Dec 26, 2012, 03.14 AM IST

KOLKATA: With protesters in Delhi demanding death penalty to rapists, the Centre has appointed former Chief Justice of India JS Verma to head a committee that will review laws related to sexual assault. While the panel seeks suggestions from NGOs, jurists and the public on the present laws protecting dignity of women, a number of formerSupreme Court and high court judges feels death penalty won’t help. Life sentence will be a better punishment, they said.

While the committee seeks suggestions from the public, NGOs and jurists on the inadequacy of present laws on protecting the dignity of women, a number of former judges of Supreme Court and high court felt death penalty will not ultimately help. These legal luminaries felt death penalty can only endanger the rape victim, as rapists might try to kill the victim to wipe out evidence.

Former Supreme Court judge Justice V S Malimath, who headed the criminal justice reforms committee earlier, is against death sentence. “I do not support death sentence for rapists.

There is death sentence for murder, but has it helped to reduce murders? We make laws, but it cannot reform characters of rapists. Education is needed from childhood to inculcate moral values. Parents and school has to train to control the animal instinct in us,” he said.

Justice Malimath’s were echoed by Justice Ruma Pal, a former Supreme Court judge, said death penalty for rapists will not help. “The judge may not agree and can give benefit of doubt to the accused. It will be better if life sentence is the only punishment for rape. Investigations need to be time-bound in rape cases since delays are frequent and attempts are made to buy witnesses.”

“Women are not treated equally with men in our society, so children should be taught to respect women. Rape is not a question of sex, it is a question of power. There should be zero tolerance against persons negligent in handling rape cases. Investigating officers should be held accountable,” Justice Pal added.

Bengal human rights commission chairman and former Supreme Court judge Asok Kumar Ganguly felt use of DNA samples could help to nab rapists.

“There is a need to fast track courts to handle rape cases. Police need to be sensitized. Often rapists enjoy political patronage and the power of muscle and money,” Justice Ganguly said.

Justice M A Siddique, chairman of national commission for minority’s educational institutions and a former judge of Delhi High Court felt death penalty can only endanger the life of the rape victim, a fear shared by both Justice Ganguly and Justice Pal. “For removing evidence the rapists can try to kill the victim. Mostly rape is held in isolated place, who will save the victim?”

Views of justices Ganguly and Pal found support in Justice M A Siddique, chairman of the national commission for minority educational institutions and a former judge of Delhi high court. He felt death penalty will only endanger the life of the rape victim. “For removing evidence, the rapists can try to kill the victim. Mostly, women are raped in secluded places, who will save the victim?,” said Justice Siddique.

Some judges, however, felt the present laws were enough to handle rape cases. Justice R N Roy, former chief justice of Allahabad high court, said death sentence is for the rarest type of crime. The present laws are sufficient to handle rapists, he felt.

While Justice SM Soni, a former Gujarat high court judge and a former Lokayukta of Gujarat, said that there are enough laws to handle rape cases, Justice Shyamal Kumar Sen, former chairman of state human rights commission, said the court can opt for death penalty in the rarest of rare cases. Since there is a Supreme Court guideline, there is no need to change the law, said Justice Sen.

 

 

Delhi- Police harassment of peaceful women protesters at Jantar Mantar on Dec 25th


Dear all,
I am forwarding a mail I wrote to the CM Sheila Dikshit about the police harassment of 12 women participating in a peaceful gathering at Jantar Mantar on 25th Dec afternoon. The 12 of us (most people were meeting for the first time) were peacefully standing around discussing how to keep the momentum of pressure on the government going when 2 girls came running towards us with tears in their eyes saying that 3 of their female friends had been dragged away by cops to Parliament Street PS. We all went there to bring those women out but we were also violently pushed around and detained as well. Now the cops are denying we were detained at all… and threatening my daughter and me asking us to apologise for having shared our plight with the media outside, with tweets and smses and calls to media people and friends.
Dear ma’am,
My daughter Shambhavi and I and a colleague of mine Reema Ganguly went to Jantar Mantar today 25th Dec to take part in a peaceful gathering there against the gang-rape.
At around 4pm two girls came running upto us in tears and said that the police had dragged away 2 of their female friends to Parliament Street Police Station and theya sked us to help bring them back. The three of us joined 9 other women and we went to the police station. When we reached there we only saw male constables. We demanded to talk to a female senior officer and said that the 3 women must be released immediately. The policemen very rudely and aggressively tried to chase us out. We refused to leave without those 3 women and so one male cop ordered some female cops standing in the courtyard to come in and arrest all of us.
All of us linked our arms and were being dragged away when I saw a female constable dragging a girl by her hair. My daughter Shambhavi ran to help her and before my eyes I saw a male cop and a female cop pulling my daughter’s hair and hitting her head against a wall I managed to extricate myself and ran towards the 2 young girls to protect them and we managed to get them away…we were then pushed into a small room where we found 4 other women detained earlier – they also recounted how they were slapped and their clothes torn while they were dragged here.
We were kept in that room for 3 hours with no reason being given and finally some woman from an NGO Deepjyoti she said came and said she will get us out if we apologise. We refused and when asked for our names and addresses and phone numbers we all collectively decided only to give other names because we were terrified of what the police would do with our contact information … the three of us – my daughter, my colleague and I gave our names as Divya, Geeta and Aastha.
While we were just about to leave, some cops came rushing out and demanded to know who ‘Shambhavi’ was, because some Shambhavi was informing the media that we were beaten up and detained (my daughter had been tweeting all that was happening) Terrified of what they would do to her, we pulled together and rushed out of there.
We reached home, terrified and hurting all over and now suddenly at 10.24pm, I receive a call from 01123361100 where a man said he was from the same NGO and if Shambhavi did not come and apologise to the SHO at Parliament Street, they would file an FIR against us and come and arrest us in the night itself.
Ma’am, please help.
A terrified mother,
Usha Saxena
09818649083

 

 

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